HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. –
If a 3,000-pound car carries about 18 gallons of gas, imagine what a 76,000-pound C-130 would require.
The 1st Special Operations Logistics Readiness Squadron petroleum oils lubricants flight ensures the fuel destined for Air Commandos is stored, inspected and transported safely to accomplish the 1st Special Operations Wing mission … any time, any place.
Airmen with the POL flight work around-the-clock to manage the fuel aviation and ground engines needed to keep the 1st SOW running.
“A lot of people think that we just run out there and put gas in airplanes,” said Staff Sgt. Dion Baynard, a supervisor of fuels distribution with the 1st SOLRS. “Behind the scenes, we’re ensuring we put a quality product into a war machine.”
The 1st SOLRS departments that manage fuel products are the fuels and service center, fuels distribution, fixed facilities, storage, cryogenic products, and training and support.
With all these sections working together, 1st SOW engines receive the exact fuel needed to execute the mission.
When a tank truck or barge arrives POL collects two samples, a one-quart visual and a one-gallon retainment, then the fuel is off-loaded into storage tanks.
Fuels laboratory technicians inspect the visual sample to certify that there’s no water, contaminants or particles, ensuring the quality of inbound fuel.
“Something can happen to a tank, water could get into it and change that mixture,” said Senior Airman Dalton Haywood, fuels laboratory technician with the 1st SOLRS.
Jet fuel requires three main additives to facilitate high-altitude flights. A fuel system icing inhibitor prevents water from collecting and freezing, a static dissipater prevents the moving fuel from creating too much static electricity, and a corrosion inhibitor reduces the rate of wear and tear on fuel systems.
“We monitor and analyze every single additive that’s put into jet fuel,” said Haywood.
Day by day Air Commandos like Baynard and Haywood keep propellers spinning and wheels turning with the proper fuel.
“We put aircraft in the air so that our ground troops downrange are able to get to the places they need to get to safely,” said Baynard.
Editor's note: The original story can be viewed on the Hurlburt Field website.